Review of UK North Sea Oil and Gas industry is launched by the UK Government

The first and biggest review of the country’s offshore oil and gas industry in over 20 years has been launched this month by the UK government, in a bid to unlock the potential of Britain’s remaining offshore reserves.

Headed up by Sir Ian Wood, former chief executive and chairman of global energy services group Wood Group PLC and one of the most respected figures in the industry, the review team will look at ensuring that the sector, which is a vital contributor to the UK economy, maintains a strong force at a time of economic immobilism.

Focusing on the key areas that would make the most significant difference, the review team have been given 6 months to look at factors including maximising production and exploration in the UK Continental Shelf, the licensing regime, optimising and extending the life of infrastructure, production efficiency, the use of enhanced oil recovery techniques, increasing exploration and better collaboration across the industry. The team will not be making any recommendations about changes to the taxation and the fiscal regime for North Sea oil and gas.

Highlighting the importance to the UK economy of its oil and gas industry, which supports 440,000 jobs and between 2011 and 2012, paid 11.2billion pounds in direct taxes, Sir Ian Wood explains that

‘The values involved in UK oil and gas are so large that even modest increases in key production metrics over time will deliver significant economic benefits’.

Industry leaders have welcomed the review and believe ways can be found to increase daily North Sea production from its current 1.5 million barrels of oil per day to 2 million barrels.